Book Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

by Kelly Thomas Reardon

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Stephen King’s time-traveling, alternate reality creating adventure 11/22/63 was an amazing read for me on several levels. It took me awhile to read, but not because it was difficult to read. It’s easily a page turner, keeping you invested by waiting to see how the story turns and how history, both mundane and era-defining, will change (or not).

Jake Epping’s journey back into the late fifties and early sixties is incredibly compelling to read about, especially having been born in the eighties. The differences in how life was lived back in the fifities and sixties, and today are striking and play integral parts to the story. Also seeing how Kennedy was preceived, but both negatively and positively, by ordinary citizens was a treat. Nearly everything I heard surrounding JFK in my life has been positive, and seeing why he was disliked was interesting.

Seeing how quickly entwined in not one, but two communities while simply just trying to pass the time until the time his missions came to fruition was interesting. How those communities effected Jake’s choices and mindset around both his day-to-day life and his missions was interesting and heartwrenching at times.

There’s never a clear cut indication of how Jake’s actions and how his existence is effecting the future. And that’s a very good thing. It keeps you interested and reading because you can’t wait until the end of the book to find out how everything has changed. Once that moment comes, and you see the effect of Jake’s mission, your mind is blown. The way Jake handles that moment is incredibly brave and selfless, but becomes depressing when you realize the sacrifice he’s making, even beyond what he’s already sacrificed.

Even if you aren’t turned on by the idea of a time traveling novel, it is incredibly interesting and crescendos into a mind-blowing finale. By the end of the book you want to cry, smile and just shake your head at what happened.

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